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Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-Language Pathologists
Quick Facts : Speech-Language Pathologists*
2010 Median Pay$66,920
Entry Level EducationMaster's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012123,200
Job Outlook23% (Faster than average)
Employment Change28,800

Speech-language pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in patients. Speech, language, and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes such as a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, a cleft palate, cerebral palsy, or emotional problems.

What Speech-Language Pathologists Do

  • Communicate with patients to evaluate their levels of speech or language difficulty
  • Determine the extent of communication problems by having a patient complete basic reading
  • Work with patients to develop and strengthen the muscles used to swallow
  • Counsel patients and families on how to cope with communication disorders
  • Teach patients how to make sounds and improve their voices

Work Environment

Most speech-language pathologists work in schools or healthcare facilities. Some work in patients' homes.
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Job Outlook

Employment of speech-language pathologists is expected to grow by 23 percent from 2010 to 2020.
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The average salary of speech-language pathologists in May 2010 was $66,920.
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Speech-Language Pathologists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Speech-Language Pathologists


Healthcare Occupations


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Speech-Language Pathologists*
Percent Change in Employment

Speech-Language Pathologists


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Becoming a Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-language pathologists typically need at least a master's degree. They must be licensed in most states; requirements vary by state. Speech-language pathologists must be licensed in almost all states.
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